Shanghai's billionaire confirmed in custody
( 2003-06-04 09:07) (8)
The Shanghai municipal government spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday the reportedly local wealthiest person, Zhou Zhengyi, is under investigation for the problem in the operation of his group company.
Jiao Yang made the remark at a press conference in reply to a question raised by a reporter of a HK press on whether Zhou has been taken into custody in Shanghai.
Zhou, president of the Shanghai-based Nongkai group involved in agriculture, real estate, expressway construction, trade and finance businesses, was ranked 11th on the list of Shanghai's billionaires in 2002 by the US magazine Forbes.
In 2002, Nongkai group, having 4,000 employees, earned US$540 million of sales and paid US$12 million in taxes. Zhou has most of its businesses operated in Shanghai.
Nongkai has four holding companies listed in Shanghai and Hong Kong, according to annual reports of listed companies.
The two listed in Hong Kong, namely the Shanghai Merchant holding company and the Shanghai Land holding company, saw their stocks plunge by more than 30 percent on May 28-29, on overseas news saying Zhou is under investigation in Shanghai for problems involving in bank loans.
Thus, stocks of the two companies had been closed for trade before the opening of the stock market in Hong Kong on Monday.
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